Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
26 May

Weekend Link Love – Edition 244

Weekend Link LoveThe Arctic apple, a non-browning GMO varietal, is about to be unleashed upon the American public. Check out this impassioned plea from the Caltons and sign their petition to keep it off store shelves.

Research of the Week

A recent review of dietary fats and health “in the context of scientific evidence” makes a few interesting and refreshing conclusions. They find “adverse health effects that have been associated with saturated fats in the past are most likely due to factors other than SFAs,” question whether the “dietary manipulation of serum cholesterol may be moot in view of numerous other factors that increase the risk of heart disease,” and discuss the considerable evidence that omega-6 PUFAs promote inflammation and augment disease while omega-3s “seem to counter these adverse effects.”

A new study discusses the interference of mobile communication technology – smartphones and the like – on the quality of face-to-face conversation, particularly during conversations about important topics.

Interesting Blog Posts

Does sunscreen cause cancer?

What if kids didn’t have to wear shoes at school? Would things fall apart?

If the food industry were to write a letter to the American consumer, it might look a little something like this.

Media, Schmedia

I remember catching a ton of grief from the endurance community when I suggested that spending more than 4,000 calories a week doing exercise was counter-productive. That’s about 40 miles of running. In a recent Wall Street Journal article they suggest that 30 is the tipping point (where the possible risks may outweigh the benefits).

The NY Times – plus countless physicians, Silicon Valley execs, and Matt Drudge – are wising up to the power of Esther Gokhale’s Primal posture.

Outside Magazine says paleo living is here to stay, citing a few familiar names. I tend to agree with their assessment of the situation.

Everything Else

That guy I discussed in a recent Dear Mark who’s hiking around the world responded in the comment board of that post. It’s a good, informative one.

Great, now the only reliably effective treatment for C. difficile infection that doesn’t involve removing a person’s colon is buried under hours of paperwork.

Remember that French study from last year that reported organ damage in GMO corn-fed rats? The journal that published it is apparently shoring up its standards by hiring a former Monsanto employee to sit on its editorial board.

Recipe Corner

  • This is a fairly involved recipe, but it pays off in the end: bouillabaisse.
  • Again, you have to plan ahead a bit to make the marinade in time, but these Thai spiced pineapple short ribs are an incredible way to eat a favorite cut.

Time Capsule

One year ago (May 26 – Jun 1)

Comment of the Week

Imagine you’re at a friend’s house enjoying a piece of homemade cake. It’s absolutely delicious, the best you’ve ever eaten. You ask the friend for the recipe. The friend lists the ingredients: flour, sugar, butter, eggs. Then the friend adds, “Oh yeah, and pee. I peed in the cake batter before baking the cake.” You immediately put down your fork. Just a moment ago it was the tastiest cake you ever ate. Now you don’t want to take another bite. The next time your friend serves cake you don’t take any. Even if everyone around you is eating the cake and saying how great it tastes you don’t need any special will power to avoid it. You simply don’t want it because you know what’s in it.

The next time you pick up a package of some highly processed food, look at the ingredient list. It’s pee cake. Just walk away.

– Now that’s an analogy.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Happily signed the GMO Artic Apple petition… and loved the pee cake analogy. Same could be said for the GMO apples really! Pissy apples! 😉

    Sally wrote on May 26th, 2013
    • +1

      Grok Korg, Jr. wrote on May 26th, 2013
  2. I love the comment of the week! I will think about it the next time I am having a week moment in a supermarket 😉 Thanks so much!

    alisch16 wrote on May 26th, 2013
  3. Looking forward to your Primal Pee Cake recipe next week!

    Kevin wrote on May 26th, 2013
    • +1–LOL!

      Fritzy wrote on May 26th, 2013
  4. wow I am still recovering from the pee-cake analogy …
    like the kids say: yack!

    wildgrok wrote on May 26th, 2013
  5. As a teacher, I completely agree that kids don’t need to wear shoes at school. However, I also live in a city where we have snow on the ground from October until April. So I do enforce the wearing of shoes most of the year, because I really don’t want to deal with 23 shoeless 5 year olds and a ringing firebell!

    I also enjoy the pee cake analogy. Several years ago, I heard trans fats described the same way, using dog poo as the substitution. It certainly helped me avoid even the tiniest amount if I read an ingredient list as having ‘only’ 0.5g of dog poo per serving!

    Emily wrote on May 26th, 2013
  6. So, I have a question, what Caitlyn qualifies something as a GMO, Cornell has been breeding apples and grapes for specific traits for decades, are these all GMO’s?

    Rich wrote on May 26th, 2013
    • That was supposed to be what exactly. Weird spelling correction.

      Rich wrote on May 26th, 2013
  7. I love non-browning Pink Lady apples. They were genetically modified using conventional breeding methods, so that’s okay, right?

    Stella B wrote on May 26th, 2013
  8. DJ Foodie has such great ideas! 😀

    GiGi wrote on May 26th, 2013
  9. I found the blog post on suscreen interesting – but does anyone know some brand names of micronized zinc oxide sunscreens?

    Gydle wrote on May 26th, 2013
    • The Environmental Working Group website has a huge amount of information on sunscreens (they are at ewg dot org). I believe all of their top-rated-for-safety sunscreens are micronized zinc oxide; there are a lot of different brands. Just look for their 2013 Sunscreen Guide.

      Susan wrote on May 26th, 2013
  10. Here in New Zealand, school kids run around barefoot often. Many don’t take shoes to school at all. There is also no culture of “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” and one of our most famous Kiwis, director Peter Jackson is know for being barefoot pretty much all the time.

    Melanie wrote on May 26th, 2013
  11. This is so awesome! I love it! I am happy dancing right now!

    Steve wrote on May 26th, 2013
  12. With respect to marathoners and Ironman athletes having heart problems I’ve often wondered if it isn’t the exercise, but the constant ingestion of massive amounts of sugar.

    Brian wrote on May 26th, 2013
  13. Having just finished my first 100 mile run, I needed to comment on the “exercise overdose” link. I am not going to argue against the idea of a point at which exercise is “optimal”, or that one cannot do damage past that point. But myself and other ultrarunners do not run 50 miles or 100 miles to optimize our health. We do it because we love it, and it is a source of joy. Perhaps we are less healthy for it but we are more fufilled. I have yet to see an article on the subject that acknowleges that optimum longevity and optimum health may come with a trade-off that we in the ultrarunning community are unwilling to make.

    Lara wrote on May 26th, 2013
  14. Last Saturday’s weekend edition of the New Zealand Herald had an article about the increasing number of our endurance athletes presenting with serious heart problems.

    George wrote on May 26th, 2013
  15. I’ve been thinking a lot about Vibrams lately. I do not believe Vibrams are the same as being barefoot, but so much of the research and science is based on barefoot running, not running in Vibrams. I am a big proponent of barefoot living, as it’s the only way I can exist without foot pain, but my VFFs don’t hurt any less than my regular old Nikes. The separation of the toes is too stiff, which means I can’t grab the ground or correct my own overpronation by curling my toes down. Feet are much more flexible than VFFs. I also noticed that they nullified the natural padding that my feet already have (I actually made a pair of innersoles with wool so that I’d have a little bit of padding in my VFFs. They are also not breathable enough for me. I’ve been on a search for good minimalist shoes long before it was a fad, when I realize I could stand for several hours barefoot, but ONLY barefoot. The closest thing I’ve found to real barefoot shoes is the invisible shoes, or even homemade huarache like shoes, but they don’t really work when it’s cold out. The second best is a cheap pair of all leather moccasins with crepe rubber soles but I can’t run in them because they aren’t fitted enough. I mean this is all just personal experience, obviously not scientific, and I’m not a runner. I just wonder what people are going to think of the separated toe fad 20 years from now. Barefoot running is not a fad. VFF’s are, IMO. LIke all fads, they probably work for a lot of people, and I still wear mine from time to time, but they aren’t the same as being barefoot, which is not a fad.

    Willow wrote on May 26th, 2013
    • Have you tried Vivo?(

      Scott UK wrote on May 27th, 2013
    • I understand what you mean about even minimalist shoes not feeling like barefeet. I have used Viviobarefoot and they are nice, but certainly do not mimic the feel of barefeet-though come in handy if you need something with a tougher sole for work. (not construction work though obviously). I have found that the closest thing to barefeet that is work appropriate is Soft Star shoes . If you get the leather soles, they are closest thing I’ve found. They have a nice wide box for your feet to spread out too.

      Sonja wrote on May 29th, 2013
      • I love Soft Star shoes! I live in Roo moccasins. There is plenty of toe room and you can get “wide” for even more toe room. You can feel the ground through the flexible leather soles, or for damp weather you can get a grippy sole with rubber fabric bonded to the leather. The sheepskin lining is warm and soft, and offers just the right amount of cushion. They are great for everything except heavy rain.

        Nancy wrote on May 30th, 2013
  16. From the review of dietary fats and health (which focuses on SFAs) :

    “Over the years, it became clear that high levels of LDL circulating in the blood are susceptible to lipid peroxidation, which results in the oxidized LDL being scavenged by macrophages lining certain arteries, particularly around the heart, leading to atherosclerosis (3).”
    Oxidized LDL can cause the inflammation (“scavenged by macrophages”, aka immune system) that leads to arterial plaque. Yes, we already knew that.

    “In fact, PUFAs are the components that are oxidized and generate antigenic substances that are recognized by immune cells for clearance of oxidized LDL in atherogenesis (6–8).”
    Not surprised, though this is the first I’ve heard of it. High PUFA + high LDL -> CAD (coronary artery disease).

    “sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs) were discovered in the early 1990s. [SREBPs] move to the nucleus in cholesterol-depleted cells to alter transcription of several genes involved in lipid metabolism (11). When intracellular cholesterol levels are low, SREBP-1 promotes expression of genes for synthesis of cholesterol and LDL receptors that remove cholesterol from the circulation.”
    SREBPs do the production part of in-cell cholesterol homeostasis, and transfer LDL from blood (where it certainly has a purpose) to cell. Got it. Now I have a mechanism for why I ignore cholesterol on nutrition facts labels.

    “PUFAs … regulate expression of the SREBP genes (13, 14). Consequently, when PUFAs are present, there is less expression of SREBPs and enzymes for cholesterol synthesis, and the serum cholesterol pool decreases.”
    So, high PUFA -> low cholesterol …
    Because high PUFA + high LDL -> CAD! The claim that eating PUFAs protects against CVD by lowering serum cholesterol is backwards! Rather, our bodies lower cholesterol to protect us against PUFA damage causing CVD.

    Damaged PUFA -> inflammation + damaged LDL -> more inflammation + atherosclerosis.
    The chain can be broken by removing the PUFA or the LDL. Your body can’t stop you from eating PUFAs, but it can make less cholesterol. Faced with the choice of elevated CAD risk or lowered cholesterol, it takes the least harmful option.
    *This explains everything* I’m still freaking out about it. If you need me, I will be marveling at the complex elegance, beautiful simplicity, and obscured-by-data/sensory-overload intuitiveness that is the human body.

    Bill C wrote on May 26th, 2013
  17. Fecal transplant isn’t “the only reliably effective treatment for C. difficile infection” it’s the only reliably effective treatment for antibiotic resistant C. diff, and even the author of the article suggests it only for severe or recurrent infections. Antibiotics still work, we just need to have fecal transplant as an option when they don’t.

    I’ve been-there-done-that and even a relatively mild case of C. diff is terrifying and Flagyl was just nasty. But the way it’s written here makes it sound like antibiotics are not even an option anymore, which is not true.

    jj wrote on May 26th, 2013
  18. Pee cake! Hilarious! (slightly disturbing on some level, too… but mostly hilarious!) ; )

    Colleen wrote on May 27th, 2013
  19. I just re-read the article on brown adipose tissue… Awesome! Thanks.

    Ara wrote on May 27th, 2013
  20. Damn those apples are scary and they are just the tip of the iceberg. Do they not rot or do they just hide the rot?

    Groktimus Primal wrote on May 27th, 2013
    • It’s not stopping them from rotting, it just makes them brown a lot less when you slice them. The oxygen in the air binds with a molecule in fruit that then starts making polymer chains that result in the change in color. These apples don’t have as many molecules as regular fruit, so they stay appealing to the eye for longer (oxidized fruit is still safe to eat). Really not that scary as far as GMO foods go, especially when compared to “we pumped so many lectins into this fruit/grain/soybean that even insects won’t eat them! Here’s our self-funded study that proves that they won’t kill healthy adults outright.”

      Charles wrote on May 28th, 2013

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